Exhibition This is Margate exploring what people say about the town

This is Margate

‘This is Margate’ is a new virtual exhibition that looks at what people say about the town. Through a selection of texts from sources such as social media, newspapers and magazines, the exhibition shows how people have reacted to the changes since the launch of the Turner Contemporary gallery.

The exhibition is the brainchild of isle-born academic Dr Christopher Anderson, who is based at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Dr Anderson left Thanet in 1985 before moving back to the area permanently in 2001. As the new millennium progressed, he became more and more fascinated with what people were saying about his hometown.

Building Turner

He said: “On visits back to family and friends during the 1990s, I noticed how much the area was declining economically.

“When I moved back to Margate, I could see the plans for opening Turner Contemporary had potential as a stimulus to regenerate the area. As the regeneration happened with new people moving here, I was intrigued with how people were writing and talking about Margate and the online conflicts that emerged.”

He says he first noticed this with what became known as ‘Pizzagate’ in 2012 where there were tensions between locals to Margate, and those who had recently moved here, pejoratively known as ‘DFLs’.

Derelict Dreamland

This led Dr Anderson to carrying out research based on a collection of over 1,000 texts that in some way or another deal with Margate, which were put together by him and his research assistants. After presenting his findings at conferences in the UK, Mexico, Portugal and Finland, as well as publishing on it, he decided he wanted to find what the people of Margate think.

Chris on Walpole 1966

He said: “I decided the best way to do this would be by exhibiting a selection of the texts. Working with Westcoast CIC in their new Studio 2, we have created an interactive exhibition where the public can comment on the social media links.”

There will be larger follow-up live exhibitions in the spring of 2021 at Studio 2 – based at Olby’s Soul Cafe- which will include more texts. Margate residents will have more opportunity to comment in writing and in a video diary room. There will also be a host of other events taking place at the seafront venue, including discussions, talks and gigs.

The exhibition will be available online throughout the summer and autumn here

Social Media Links








  1. I would’ve thought that many people’s opinions on Margate (mine included) would be unprintable!

    • Peter and Mike, you can always send your comments privately via our Facebook page. I am really interested in people’s opinions on the contents of the exhibition – even if they are unprintable!

      • Sorry Christopher, I’m not on any social media networks. Good luck with the exhibition though!

  2. To call it ‘the worst dump’ you have ever visited makes me think you haven’t visited many places! There’s some beautiful things around… Albeit some bad things. But the WORST!? I can name many worse in this country.

  3. The problem with margate is the people constantly moaning how rubbish it is . I am margate born and I love the place yes it went down hill but its right back up there now so many people have worked very hard to bring it back . I am very proud to be from margate .

    • It is NOT “back up”, despite the media hype. Yes, it has a nice beach, an art gallery and a regenerated Fun Fair. But take a stroll around Arlington Arcade, through the High Street, around The Lido, along the rubbish & dog sh*t strewn alley way near the station… even 15 years ago when Margate was supposedly at rock bottom it wasn’t quite like this. I love the villages of Thanet, but Margate, Cliftonville and, to a lesser extent, Ramsgate are mostly dreadful places.

  4. Went to margate today with my 4yr daughter and we had a good time she was playing in the sand and swimming in the sea, very nice place

  5. yes I know want the public are saying I just moved to margate I know that it could be better it is runned down a bit but it’s like any where you got good and bad situations any where but you can still have fun and enjoy margate sandy beach restaurant arcades it’s not all doom and gloom the public always come back here yes the sea front should be dun up but margate will always be margate no matter what

    • I lived there for 2 years at the start of the new millennium… the people are great and msde me frel very welcome, but the area then was pretty dire. I couldn’t wait to escape again! Pull that tower block down for a start, what an eyesore!

  6. Compared to 15 years ago the place is so much better . Yes there’s places that still need work and the high street is still rough but all high streets in every town are struggling. I think there needs to be more about the positives than negatives. Nowhere is perfect

    • Rubbish, at least as far as normal shopping is concerned. A good example is greengrocers: there were three of them 15 years ago (in the High Street, Arcade and near Morrisons), now there is none.

  7. I moved to Margate after living in different parts of London all my life. Yes, Margate has problems, but it’s a great place to live… and looking at the sea each day is so uplifting, even (especially?!) when the weather is bad! Perhaps people who’ve never lived elsewhere have become jaded, and only see the negatives. I love the place…

  8. I moved to Margate 15/16 years ago. During the ‘waste land’ period, and have seen the town improve dramatically over the years. Margate has been one of the pioneering success stories of the regeneration scheme, which has since spread its wings across other towns. My children have grown up here. And I certainly don’t consider them deprived culturally, educationally and intellectually! Regeneration is an ongoing project, so if you have to walk an extra 15 paces to the ‘greengrocers’ is that really an argument for persecution!? I personally can’t think of many other places I’d rather be!

    • I couldnt agree with you more . Itll take time but 15 years ago to today is a massive change . As for the flats on the seafront when your heading towards margate and you see them appear in the distance you know your nearly home

  9. It’s attitudes like this that prevent the area from improving. Have you visited the north of England? Margate is a paradise compared to some northern towns. Your narrow minded, negative views are not welcome.

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